About the Director

Dr Bronwyn Leigh

B.A. (Hons), DPsych., MAPS, CCLIN
Clinical psychologist
Perinatal and infant mental health clinician
Parenting consultant
Director, Centre for Perinatal Psychology and the Centre for Mindful and Reflective Parenting

Background

Bronwyn developed a keen interest in enhancing the emotional wellbeing of families during the perinatal period when undertaking her doctoral research in the area.  Her research contributed to the internationally groundbreaking initiative funded by beyondblue: The National Postnatal Depression Program.  This public health campaign placed perinatal depression and anxiety on the public agenda in Australia, and led to social, political and mental health reform.

Bronwyn graduated from both Monash University (B.A.) and the University of Melbourne (Honours Degree and Doctorate of Psychology).  She has additional training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy (Victorian Association of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists) and is soon-to-complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Perinatal and Infant Mental Health (New South Wales Institute of Psychiatry).  Bronwyn has been trained by Kevin Nugent in the Newborn Behavioral Observations (NBO) system and by Glen Cooper becoming a Registered Circle of Security Parent Educator.  She has trained through the Center for Reflective Communities in the clinical administration of the Parent Development Interview (PDI) learning to assess and enhance Parental Reflective Function.  Bronwyn has studied Dan Siegel’s mindsight and interpersonal neurobiology through the Mindsight Institute and has also trained in infant massage.

Prior to working in the private sector, Bronwyn worked for five years in clinical and research capacities at the Infant Clinic and Parent-Infant Research Institute (PIRI), Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, Austin Health.  During this time, she worked clinically with parents and infants providing individual, parent-infant, couple, family and group work.  She provided clinical training, consultation and supervision to psychology registrars, external agencies (early parenting centres) and health professionals (GPs, psychiatrists, maternal nurses).  Through PIRI, Bronwyn contributed to research in the areas of maternal mood, prematurity and early parenting difficulties.  Program design and implementation was also a strength of the organisation and Bronwyn contributed to the development of group programs for mothers with PND and those with premature infants, as well as a curriculum for a child care centre adopting an attachment-based approach to the care of infants and toddlers.

During this time, Bronwyn held an honorary position as the national trainer in perinatal loss counselling for the Bonnie Babes Foundation, travelling Australia to train others in perinatal loss counselling.

Current Practice

Bronwyn practices in Fairfield and Ringwood North, Victoria.  She is concerned with issues spanning the perinatal period from conception, through pregnancy and in the postpartum.  She is deeply interested in exploring ways to facilitate joyful parenting and a secure, loving bond between parents and infants and to assist parents to manage their crises of confidence in parenting their baby. Bronwyn devised the Mindfully Parenting Your Baby group program and facilitates it in community houses in Melbourne.  Mindfully Parenting Your Baby is a postnatal program for parents and their babies, which focuses on mindfulness and reflective parenting skills. Bronwyn’s reflective parenting work is supervised by Diane Reynolds, Executive Director, Center for Reflective Communities, Los Angeles.

Bronwyn regularly participates in a variety of professional forums, including conferences and training events.  She developed a 3-day training workshop in perinatal and infant mental health, which she has facilitated nationally for numerous years.  She is the founding member and current National Convenor of the Australian Psychological Society’s ‘Perinatal and Infant Psychology Interest Group’, supporting psychologists nationally who work in the area of perinatal psychology.  She provides guest lectures on perinatal and infant mental health to Swinburne University’s Master of Psychology students and examines postgraduate theses and peer-reviewed journal articles in the field.  Bronwyn has presented at numerous conferences and has been an invited speaker and training consultant to health care professionals.  Journalists reporting on postnatal depression, transitioning to parenthood, infertility and perinatal loss have also sought her professional advice, quoting her in print media and interviewing her on radio.  Bronwyn has provided expert opinion on perinatal mental health in a fitness context contributing to the mental health training of personal trainers and gym instructors through the award-winning Pregnancy and Perinatal Training Company.

A sample of workshops, seminars and presentations provided by Bronwyn can be viewed here.
A sample of media interviews provided by Bronwyn can be viewed here.

Professional Affiliations

  • Registered with the Psychology Board of Australia (PBA)
  • Member Australian Psychological Society (MAPS)
  • Member APS College of Clinical Psychologists (CCLIN)
  • Founding member and inaugural convenor, APS Perinatal and Infant Psychology Interest Group (PIPIG)
  • Member International Marcé Society
  • Member Australasian Marcé Society
  • Member World Association of Infant Mental Health (WAIMH)
  • Member Australian Association of Infant Mental Health (AAIMHI)
  • Member Circle of Security International Parenting Facilitator
  • Member Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA)
  • Member Australian Research Alliance for Children & Youth (ARACY)
  • Member Marcé International Biennial Conference Local Subcommittee
  • Member SMS4dads Project Reference Group
  • Member Baby in Mind
  • Member Golden Key International Honour Society

Publications: Book

Milgrom, J., Ericksen, J., Leigh, B., Romeo, Y., Loughlin. E., McCarthy, R. & Saunders, B. (2009).  Towards Parenthood: Preparing for the Changes and Challenges of a New Baby. ACER Press.

Towards Parenthood is also published in Italian through Erickson Press (2012) and in Dutch (2015).

Towards Parenthood is an evidence-based self-help guidebook supporting soon-to-be and new parents adjust to the demands of parenting while strengthening their relationships with their baby and partner.

You can learn more about the book here.

Peer Reviewed Journal Publications

Gemmill, A.W. Leigh, B., Ericksen, J., & Milgrom, J. (2006). A survey of the clinical acceptability of screening for postnatal depression in depressed and non-depressed women. BMC Public Health, 6, 211.

Leigh, B. & Milgrom, J. (2007). Acceptability of antenatal screening for depression in routine antenatal care. Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 24, 14-18.

Leigh, B. & Milgrom, J. (2008). Risk factors for antenatal depression, postnatal depression and parenting stress. BMC Psychiatry, 8: 24.

Milgrom, J., Holt, C. J., Gemmill, A., Ericksen, J., Leigh, B., Buist, A. & Schembri, C. (2011). Treating postnatal depressive symptoms in primary care: A randomised controlled trial of GP management, with and without adjunctive counselling. BMC Psychiatry, 11: 95.

Work-Related Publications

Leigh, B. & Milgrom, J. (2006).  Literature Review for the Pregnancy Lifescripts.  Prepared for the Australian Division of General Practitioners.

Milgrom, J., Ericksen, J. & Leigh, B. (2008).  Postnatal depression and mother-infant interaction.  Community Paediatric Review, 16, 1-4.

Milgrom, J., Ericksen, J., Leigh, B. & McCarthy, R. (2004).  GP Manual for Treating PND.  Published by PIRI for training purposes with General Practitioners.

Milgrom, J., Leigh, B. & Bretton, S. (2007).  Lulu’s Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers (0-2).  Published by PIRI and prepared for Lulu Child Development Childcare Centres.

Newnham, C., Brown, N. & Leigh, B. (2006).  PremieHUGS: A Group Program for Premature Babies and their Parents.  Published and evaluated by PIRI.

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